Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Just a Thought "107"

What remains is for the human race on their own part to be reconciled to God. God has already forgiven them their trespasses and forgotten their sins through what the death of his son accomplished. The fact is Paul taught that God loves the human race so much that the magnitude of his love is almost incomprehensible to imagine. God used one major event in history to demonstrate the depth of his love; allowing his own son to die on the tree of crucifixion for the sinful human race. One must understand the reconciliation where the human races sin is concerned. Rather than judging the human race for their sins, God judged his son for the human races sins.

The Apostle Paul was commissioned to tell people that God is reconciled where the totality of the sin debt of all the human is concerned; sin is no longer the issue on the table of God’s justice today. How much forgiveness does everyone have according to the Apostle Paul? It has all been forgiven upfront; there is not an ounce of forgiveness to be obtained. The reconciliation that Jesus accomplished for the human race was total, complete, and unalterable, it will always stand. God is reconciled where the entirety the human races sin debt is concerned; there is no sin left on an individual to forgive. 

This is not to the saved, we know we are reconciled, but now all have access to God, a change in status for the entire world. Does this mean the entire world is save? save? No! Everyone has to have an individual change of status and that takes place when we accept what God’s son accomplished for us. The issue with God is what his son accomplished, not sin. Who in the world are people asking for forgiveness from? From God! Therefore, the assumption is that he is not reconciled when people sin. In peoples mind, they are separating themselves from God by their sin, and Paul is saying that God has already reconciled the human race where their sins are concerned.

Seems like Paul should have been able to make great progress with his message of grace. We are given our righteous standing as a free gift, it is a grace gift given by God and we receive it the instant we place our faith in Jesus’ faithfulness having resolved God’s justice for our sins when Jesus offered himself a sacrifice for those sins. This gift decree of righteousness comes totally apart from any and all human promise, any or all human performance or any or all human production. God will never consider peoples works as a payment for God’s justifying declaration. To say your works have anything at all to do with God’s gift declaration of righteousness is to slap the giver in the face.

Eve was deceived and she missed the ball unintentionally, but not Adam. Adam purposely took his eyes off the ball and when he dropped his bat; he lost the ball game for the human race. What made that such a catastrophic loss for the human race is heightened by the fact that people are unable to do anything to alter their moral choice of good and bad condition. Human wisdom, human reasoning would say, “Give us a law. Give us something that we can do. Give us some way to perform. Give us a few balls of our own to hit so that we might earn back what we lost through Adam.” God’s reasoning said, “Impossible!” Why? The Law that he gave to Israel was a measure of what the human race would have to perform to be accepted by God.

God would have to do for the human race what the human race was totally incapable of doing for themselves. God would of necessity have to credit the righteous faithfulness of someone else to account of hopeless and helpless human race. The word “Redemption” has to do with a ransom. So, Jesus paid the price necessary to satisfy the Father’s justice for all the sins of the human race. The human race was given a Redeemer and the price the Redeemer paid through the shedding of his blood dripping on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant, to ransom the human race was a satisfactory payment to take those sins off the table of God’s justice forever!

However, the fact that Jesus became a redeemer of all the human race does not mean that all the human race will accept the gift the redeemer purchased on their behalf. Jesus’ faithfulness was the only faithfulness sufficient to merit God’s favor. God used our faith in Jesus’ faithfulness as the means whereby he would credit Jesus’ righteousness to all them that believe. To believe is to receive! To be justified does not mean to be perfectly righteous in performance. It also does not mean to become perfectly righteous or even more righteous in performance through time, it means having Jesus’ perfect righteousness freely credited to the account of the ungodly who believe.

We didn’t receive our righteous standing before God by the things we’ve done in the past that we might consider to be righteous. We certainly don’t maintain it by the things we continue to do or what we promise God that we’ll do that we might consider to be righteous. Our justification was something accomplished for us by God’s grace. Understanding the Grace of God results in joy. The mind set of joy will not come apart from understanding the Grace we have in this age of Grace. Many lack joy from not understanding that justification is compete.

The New Creation, this is the thing that’s brand new, but the Old Things being passed away does not mean that believers are now sinless at all. New identity in God’s son comes only by way of being placed into God’s son, the miraculous, judicial transaction called Sanctification;  joined to Jesus. You were identified with every aspect of the one to whom you were joined at the point of your belief. When Jesus died, it’s just as though you died from the judicial viewpoint of God. When Jesus was buried, it’s just as though you were buried right alongside Jesus from God’s viewpoint. When God raised Jesus from among the dead, you rose from among the dead from God’s perspective.

Sanctification is a set-apartness that comes by way of baptism into Jesus, not immersion into water, but immersion into a person. God, through his power from on high is the Baptizer in this instance. Pastors do not perform this baptism. The 12 apostles did not perform this baptism. Jesus never performed this baptism. Paul himself never performed this baptism. Only God can perform this baptism and he performs it through his power from on high the instant you take God at his Word and there’s no water involved. Identification through union and every believer is set apart through union with the Savior himself.

If God is no longer imputing the human races sins unto them because he imputed those sins to his son, would that mean that the entire human race would then instantaneously become dead to sin? The answer is no, because Reconciliation and Sanctification are not one and the same doctrine. They are two different doctrinal truths. No one is dead to sin apart from being baptized into Jesus, even though God is not imputing the human races sins to their account, no person is placed into his son apart from belief. We are not called to be saints, we are called saints, Holy Ones. Sainthood is not earned at all. It’s not something to be sought after as though it could be attained to or something that only comes for a select few.

We’re not in the process of becoming something new and different. We’re not even in an instantaneously cleaned up version of the former creation. We’re not a sinless version of who we once were. We are at the very instance of our belief a brand new creation. God sees us in a brand new way. In the fact, that it’s called a new creation, it tells us this new creation as God sees it, is not an extension of some former creation. In other wards, we are not an extension of believing Israel time past carried on over in some form to the Age of Grace. God has designed believers to be a brand new unique organism operating as a living breathing manifestation of the Savior’s Body right here on earth. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Just a Thought 106

To be justified, is to be recognized as being right. God has chosen to recognize as being righteous those who would simply take him at his Word. God recognizes those who take him at his Word concerning the price the Savior became on their behalf to resolve God’s justice for their sin debt. Justification is a recognition of righteousness that comes from God to those who believe God. What a security we can gain if we’d really know what that means.

Paul was telling people their reconciliation with God came not by their abstention from wicked deeds or evil deeds or by their commitment to the performance of good deeds or by a new measure of forgiveness that they might be able to procure for themselves. The reconciliation Paul’s talking about was accomplished by God. He designed it. He provided the means by which it could be accomplished. In fact, God himself accomplished it. 

People continue to operated today in their thinking, nothings really changed, under the assumption that their sin debt is separation from God. If an ounce of new reconciliation in this Age of Grace could be restored for anyone when it comes to the issue of their sin debt then the degree of forgiveness that must be obtained in order to restore the reconciliation is the very degree to which that individual refuses to believe that Jesus accomplished it all. Paul’s good news is hid from those people. They don’t understand what reconciliation is all about. They think that new sin (as Israel’s atonement work) needs a new measure of reconciliation. So they seek forgiveness on the installment plan. Is that not the golden thread woven through every denomination out there? It is. It’s called religion.

All who place their trust in what Jesus accomplished are justified from all things, every single solitary detail of performance related righteousness. Sins are no longer merely covered. They are now completely paid for, completely forgiven, completely taken out of the way. God’s attitude can not fluctuate. God isn’t happy with you today and unhappy with you tomorrow, because he’s not looking at you in the practical sense of your sinfulness, but in your new identity of being hid in the last Adam. That’s how you can be holy and without blame before him in love.   The most tremendous message the world could ever hear, God can now totally accept people even though they are sinful because all sin debt has been pain for once and for all. 

Paul’s good news must be accepted. It must be believed today and you can be sure that confusion concerning that good news through the use of a counterfeit good news, a good news that looks so much like Paul’s good news you’d not know the difference if you didn’t clearly know Paul’s good news, will be Satan’s focus in this Age of Grace. No one can receive justification unless a person is placed into the Savior. Being placed into Jesus, joined to the Savior is the method whereby God justifies a person.

The issue at the Great White Throne Condemnation will be those standing there in their own righteousness and not in God’s righteousness. Too many people link a justified standing  before God with performance of their own, they also link a sanctified standing before God with their own performance. Holiness linked to performance is what religion is all about. Religion thinks of sanctification as becoming a little less sinful or a little less sinful over time.  And as a result they believe the degree to which they stand sanctified in God’s eyes depends entirely upon the degree to which they remain holy in behavior.

The religiously minded begin to believe they are indeed measuring up as righteousness becomes relative to those people. A misunderstanding of the need for and the manner of justification and sanctification resides at the core of unstable thinking. Justification is a gift declaration of perfect righteousness given to the ungodly who simply take God at his Word concerning what the Jesus accomplished for them. It’s that simple! it’s too simple for the pride nature of people to want to accept as they want to include themselves in that deal somewhere.          

Oftentimes, sermons are geared to guilt and so through that guilt teaching, a Pastor in a way which may be subconscious level thinking, or even conscious level thinking in many of their minds, have their thumb on your behavior through the guilt preaching. A person must believe that Jesus put your sins (past, present, and future) away forever. God is not imputing your sins to you, any of them, whether they be sins of the past, present, or future. God imputed them to his son. It’s freely imputed to your account and that requires your belief in what Jesus accomplished where your sins are concerned. It’s important, it’s crucially important that you believe, because belief is required for righteousness.

Were the Israelites embracing Paul’s message? While some believe Paul’s message, the vast majority rejected it; a validation of why God had set Israel aside nationally in the first place, and why God had called this new apostle who would be sent to the Gentiles. They were envious of the attention the apostle Paul was getting and that envy had led to a rejection of not only Paul, but of Paul’s message. When Paul talks about a new creature; old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new, he is not talking about sin in an individual’s life, he is talking about all that they once were in the first Adam prior to salvation.

Paul was sent with a brand new message and Paul would not to have wanted us to mix the message of the 12 Apostles in regard to God’s program to and with the nation Israel, with the message specifically given him for the Gentiles. Tragically, most bible teaching pastors will tell us Paul was simply preaching what the 12 Apostles before him had been preaching. There is no more powerful message than that God was using what Jesus’ death accomplished for the sins of the entire world. Reconciliation goes far beyond a relationship between two human beings; Paul spoke of a person’s relationship to God in terms of the restoration of the right relationship between a person and God.

God’s love is very rare; his love is so paramount that God says he loves humans who are actively his enemies. God reconciles himself to his enemies while they are still in hostility. God’s reconciliation to the human race took place when the human race was actively God’s enemy, not after the human race repented. An enemy is not someone who simply falls short of being a friend; an enemy is on the other side of the fence. An enemy is in absolute opposition and their actions are hateful. It was while the human race was in this state of utter hostility and in direct opposition to God that the human race were reconciled to God by the death of his son.

Paul told people that God so loves them that Jesus died for them while they were yet ungodly, yet sinners, and God’s enemies. God has already done his part in the reconciliation by not imputing any of humanity’s trespasses to their account. The slate is clean as far as God is concerned. There are no longer barriers between them and God, his son has died for them because God supremely loves them. A true reconciliation can only be a success when both parties agree to forgive and forget; when complete harmony exists between both; when both of them become real friends.